In The Foxhunt (read me) I wrote about my first interaction with Kim Pike, now my wife. I had chased her everyday after Mythology class until she finally began waiting for me after class. After several weeks I finally built up the nerve to ask Kim out for a first date.
Like all high schools, ours too had a drama department and would put on a play or two. If I remember correctly, there was a Fall and Spring play. Kim was an art student in high school. Sports and art – that was Kim. As an art student, she was one of the folks that helped to make the sets or do the makeup for the actors. I thought the Spring annual Children’s Play would be a great place for a first date so one day during the book carrying, I asked Kim out. “Would you like to go on a date? I thought we might go to see the play; it’s called Bugs.”
Ok, decision time for Kim. You girls can sense I guess when a boy is interested in you, (and as a side note, for us teenage boys you often times just have to have breasts and smile at us), so I am assuming you all have to decide just how far you let each boy go. Will he be the dreaded “just a friend”? Or will you take it further, perhaps allowing each of you to look under the hoods and learn more about each other? But she said yes. Well…let’s clarify this – what she said was “um, sure..I guess”. Not a magnificent ego booster response for the receiver, (moi), but when they play hard to get it only makes us want you more.
I know my wife and I know our history so believe me when I tell you here that at this early juncture, Kim was not sure yet about me. She had not yet realized my greatness, so I am positive that when she said yes to my invitation, she just wanted to see the play. Could one of the reasons be because little Ricky Grubbs was a key player and that she still had a secret crush on him (read me)? Or was it just that my animal magnetism was beginning to take over the situation? Or did she just want a free Big Mac?
I didn’t yet have a car (read me); that was yet to come next year in 1975. Any dates I got to enjoy still had an element of chaperoning involved. On the big night, my step father Joe drove me over to pick up Kim. Our plan then was to walk to the high school after grabbing a bite to eat and then Joe would pick us up at the high school after the play so we could then easily swing by Kim’s house.
Now that I had succeeded in getting a date, the next big goal was to get the first kiss…and I had a plan, every boy needs a plan. It was a pleasant night so the walk to the high school was very enjoyable. We were having a nice long conversation and I was finding out more and more about Kim, mostly that we were more alike than not. The shortest route from my house to the high school was to cut behind the junior high school. Cutting through the school’s parking lot, and close to the building itself, were a couple of semi-secluded spots. I had chosen the spot and made sure we walked by it. I was nervous, but I stopped us and made my move to kiss Kim for the first time. I must have done ‘something’ right because she kissed back…boy, did she kiss back!
All of you reading this know how important the first kiss can be. It can be milk and honey, everything that is right in the world, or it can be like getting a testicle massage with an SOS pad – you just want it to end…not that I’ve ever experienced this (blush). Seriously though, I’ve kissed a lot of girls and I’ve never felt so chemically connected to another person as when I kissed Kim. Even the very first kiss felt natural, like we had done it before. Maybe Kim was just a good kisser, but what I recall that night was wanting to remember how “right” that kiss felt to me. We necked for maybe only 30 seconds and then we resumed our trek to the play.
I can still see the face of my 16 year old girlfriend, still feel the softness of her hands in mine, still feel and see the rough texture of the red brick of the junior high school as we leaned against it, sharing our very first kiss. We’ve come so far together, so far. Forty years; forty years of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, heartaches and celebrations. Mostly though, forty years of love and memories – does it get any better than love & memories? I don’t think so…..all part of growing up on Prytania.